Monday, June 13, 2011

Mad Monday

Okay, so it's not really mad at all. It's actually been pretty mellow, so far.

I'll just jump right into it. I've been struggling lately.
It all began at Grandma's - she has trouble walking, so basically the whole four days I was there (minus a short run, a jazzercise class, and a ride or two up and down the street on the bike) I basically sat on the couch with her, watching The Food Network. Goodness. I never realized how active I am at home, aside from 'real' exercise (aka intense, purposeful exercise like running, yoga, biking...) I'm constantly running around, painting my room, gardening, baking (standing on your feet in the kitchen for that long is exercise, ;) )

So, as time elapsed and my sedentary lifestyle got to me, I realized I wasn't as hungry as usual, and my carb and protein intake diminished. By my last meal, I was eating a huge fruit salad and maybe a 1/4 cup of kidney and garbanzo beans with haricots verts.

When I came home, I thought to myself "oh, you know, I could just have salad for lunch." And so... I did. A big salad of leafy greens, some chopped fruit, tomato, dried cranberries, and a 'lite' dressing. With dessert, of course ;) I can never forgo my favorite part of any meal. Then, I read Gena's philosophy on breakfast. She reiterated something I'd read in Skinny Bitch that sounded logical to me. Basically, when you wake up, your body is emerging from 'hibernation' and still processing last night's dinner. Thus, you shouldn't shock, or load it up with a bunch of heavy food. Rather, you should eat really light foods that your body can easily digest, like fruits, smoothies, etc.

So, of course, being the impressionable and slightly eating disordered person that I am, I grip onto her words and vow to eat only smoothies for breakfast as a sort of 'cleanse.' Bad idea. Not sure if it's the xanthan gum, or the amount of veggies I've been consuming, but my digestive system has not been happy. That, and I've been feeling super fat and bloated.

Obviously, this is not a good way for me to proceed, especially as I am still in recovery from anorexia. Sooooo, I've decided to try to get back on track by doing what I did in treatment. Basically, every weekday, I'll do a post that deals with the same topics covered in the groups at my treatment center on that day.
So, it'll look a little like this:

Monday: Goal Setting or interpersonal relations
Tuesday: Art Therapy
Wednesday: Body Image
Thursday: Experiential or Nutrition
Friday: Process

So, today is Goal setting. Basically, I write up a maximum of four goals for the week.

1) Exercise more regularly
My injuries have been rather discouraging, and have forced me to get out of the habit of exercising regularly. I think the lack of exercise (endorphins, baby, endorphins!) has made me feel pretty sluggish and depressed lately, and I have had little to no desire to exercise.

I think I'm over my tendonitis, but now my calf muscles are as tight as cables right now, so running hurts. However, I went for a short run this morning, and it was glorious. It felt great to get out there and feel completely free, unfettered by earthly bonds like a purse, my dog straining on her leash, etc.
So I want to take really good care of my legs, like so:

My legs were covered in goose bumps by the time I took off the cold packs. My mom made them individual little sleeves to cover them. Isn't she sweet?

and continue doing exercise like walking, yoga, pilates, biking, and a tiny bit of running.

2) Get together with a friend
Pretty self-explanatory. My parents are at our house in France, and I'm by myself at our home in California. I think part of the reason I've been feeling depressed is the isolation.

3) Finish reading my book

How To Read And Why by Harold Bloom (professor at Yale.) My mom got it for me for X-mas, and I just finished Dear John, so I needed new reading material. This book is pretty good, from what I've read so far.

Mhmmm. Kombucha and Literature. Symbols of my two loves in life: Nutrition and English. Please disregard the huge thing of charmin' toilet paper in the background ;). Oh, and check out Bella in the background, lounging around and living a dog's life :P

Side note: does anyone else listen to Yale's open courses from iTunes? They're amazing. Really really good. Basically they're recorded lectures that Yalies actually take on various subjects. I've listened to Steven B. Smith's Introduction to Political Philosophy more than once, and find it so fascinating and informative. I really recommend you check them out on iTunes. Just type in Yale university, and a bunch will pop up. Best part? It's completely FREE.

So... yeah. Those are my goals for the week.


Do you have any goals for this week?

Can anyone else relate to the calf tightness thing? If so, do you have any recommendations for how to heal it?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Xanthan Gum = love

I discovered the most amazing food ever.

Seemingly unimportant, a complicated 'extra' in the ingredients list, this baby has SUPERNATURAL powers. I know I'm kind of late on the bandwagon - I'm sure everyone's already seen this on blogs such as Freya's - but when I tried it this morning, I fell in LOVE.

I went to the store yesterday with a family friend to pick up some chocolate chips to make Katie's drool-worthy chocolate chip cookie dough dip. Of course, I couldn't wait to use them in that before I broke into them for my evening snack yesterday of a banana topped with almond butter, decorated with chocolate chips, and melted into a gooey, yummy mess in the micro.

Anywho, back to mah gum. I chopped up a banana last night and popped the slices into the magic bullet. Into the freezer it went, so the next morning I would have frozen banana and no extra Tupperware to wash! WIN!

When I got up, I downed a nanner with some sunflower seed butter (divine!) and then went on a run with my pooch.

No, sadly that cutie is not me. However, this is.

Complete with laptop in hand, ready to catch up on blogs while eating my pre-run fuel.

This was my first run in about 3 weeks or so. I had been experiencing pain in my right ankle, and my doctor told me not to run for a while, and let it heal. Hah! I kept running on it, kept feeling the pain, and went back to see my doctor. She diagnosed me with tendinitis, and told me that each time I went running, I was re-injuring myself. Not the most pleasant of images. This visit coincided with my trip to New Jersey to see family, so I decided to leave my running shoes at home and lay off it for a while.

While I was on the East Coast, my aunt took me to this Acupuncture/ Acupressure place in New York City. Interesting experience. This was my first time getting either treatment, and I got acupressure on my upper back and neck for stress (felt great, and I think really helped), and acupuncture on my belly, the front of my legs, and the back of my right ankle where I had injured it. I couldn't tell you if it was the acupuncture or the rest, but I experienced no ankle pain on my run. Wonderful!

I decided to do the walk/run method since I was just coming back from three weeks without running, and it was good! I did about 2.2 miles without timing myself, and had a chance to think about my June goals (inspired by Emma!) which I'll talk about in just a minute.

When I got home, it was rush rush rush to shower and get ready since my friend was supposed to bring me to the pharmacy and the library (I don't have my Driver's License yet!), but in the end she couldn't so I got to have my wonderful breakfast sooner!

I pulled out my frozen nanner in the magic bullet, and added some almond milk, shook it around a bit, but the banana was frozen in place! So I decided to pop it in the fridge to thaw a bit whilst I prepared the other ingredients - bad idea! The almond milk froze to the banana. Ack! so I had to nuke it for about 20 seconds for it to melt a little.

Then I blended the nanner and milk together a while, added in three strawbs, a boatload o' spinach, and some more almond milk. Then it was time for the Xanthan Gum. I added a tsp, and it was like magic. My smoothie crazy thick. It was divine.

Here's what it looked like after I added this:


Oops! Can't see it! Here's a close up of the beauty:

Mmm. So GOOD. And thick... and creamy.

Okay... now onto June Goals!

1) Improve my running performance before the Wharf to Wharf!!
I want to firstly improve my endurance, and if that means run/walk method, I'm totally cool with that. I'm at about 2 miles now, coming back from my injury, so I want to be able to do 4 miles by the end of the month.

2) Implement a new workout schedule
Over the course of the week:
-4 days: running
-1 day (or more): yoga
-1 day: cross train (e.g. weights, workout dvd, pilates, walking, hiking, biking...)
-1 day (at least): rest

3) Read!
I really want to take advantage of the summer to do a lot of reading, whether it be the classics (some Shakespeare and Austen) or more modern stuff like Jodi Picoult, Nicholas Sparks, whatever. It's all about balance.

4) Be regular about blogging!
Ah, this is a hard one. Blogging is sooo much work. Just this post has taking me over an hour to write and export and insert photos. That's not including the time to take photos, upload them to the computer, think about blog ideas... but this is definitely something I want to invest time into.

5) Finish my room
I've been redecorating my room - I painted the walls blue and turquoise stripes, bought some new furniture... but I really need to finish it. That means painting my closet, installing and buying some more furniture, neatening up...

Okay, that's pretty ambitious, and definitely enough for now!


How do you use Xanthan Gum? When and how do you add it to your recipes?

Do you have any goals for June?